A Yoga Diet Based on Ayurvedic Principles

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As the traditional healing system from India, Ayurveda has long been used as a guide in nutrition for many yogis all over the globe. This complex philosophy is not merely a selection of remedies for various illnesses, but a holistic approach to living, encompassing everything from physical, to emotional well-being.

Naturally, those who practice yoga will find its wisdom even more appealing, since your diet can be completely altered with the help of Ayurveda’s ancient principles. Whether you are dealing with a chronic health issue, or you simply want to lead a healthier life, Ayurveda can complement your yoga lifestyle in several essential ways.

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Mind Your Character

Ayurveda recognizes three distinct personality types, and depending on your predominant characteristics, your diet can also be tailored to meet your emotional and psychological needs. Vata people are lively and mostly thin, so their nutrition should consist of sour, salty and sweet tastes, and it should be mostly warm, such as cooked veggies. The Pittas are very fiery, dynamic personas, so cooler, raw foods should keep their character in balance. Finally, the Kapha people are serene, slow and peaceful, so light meals will prevent them from gaining too much weight.

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Keep Your Appetite Under Control

In order to maintain your life’s balance, your diet also needs to be based on moderation. Your main parameter of measure can be your own palms: put them together and open them, as if you are making an open version of the Anjali mudra. Ayurveda advises not to eat more than two of these measures per meals, in order to avoid overburdening your digestive tract and gaining too much weight.

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Focus on Plant-Based Food

Although no foods are eliminated from the Ayurvedic diet, meat is consumed rarely and mostly as a healing part of your diet. It is considered a heavy option for your digestive system, so most people should rely on vegetables as their main source of nutrition. However, you might have a problem with obtaining enough protein, so you can use plant-based protein powder to supplement your diet and still adhere to Ayurvedic principles. Supplying your body with essential amino acids is crucial for maintaining and building muscles, and keeping up with your yoga routine, which is the key to a strong, vital body.

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Turn Meals Into Rituals

Our fast-paced lives often push us into choosing the most convenient meals, which means fast food and highly-processed goods. It also affects the way we eat, so we rarely take time to enjoy a meal. Ayurveda invites you to take your time when you prepare food, but also when you eat, to chew through every bite, and enable your digestion to work properly from the very first step. Also, make sure to remove all distractions, such as your phone, and turn off your TV – you should be in the moment and savor every bite.

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Time Your Eating

In addition to what and how you eat, your eating schedule also affects your overall wellbeing. It’s best to eat your daily meals before the sun sets, but since this can be difficult in certain parts of the world and during winter, you can make adjustments. As long as you don’t overwhelm your digestion in the several hours before sleep, and stick to light meals in the evening, your health shouldn’t suffer. That way, your body can use all the nutrients from the food properly and focus on repairing and healing during sleep.

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Hydrate Properly

We all know that the majority of our body is made of water, and this simple fluid is essential for all key processes required for our health, including digestion, nutrient absorption, and healing. When it comes to how you hydrate, Ayurveda asserts that it’s best to drink water moderately throughout the day, instead of drinking too much at a single go. As for the right temperature, too cold and too hot shouldn’t be consumed, but water at room temperature, or lukewarm are best options. An extra tip: try drinking your water sitting down, since this is the best position for your kidneys to work optimally!

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Match Your Foods

If you have established which character category you fall under, and which foods suit you best, you should also be careful as to how you pair your foods for each meal. For instance, mixing foods that have a cooling nature, such as milk, and heating nature, such as bananas, can cause indigestion and prevent your body from properly absorbing the nutrients in those foods. Find more compatible choices depending on your personality and digestion, and your health will flourish!

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